In these last six months seven journalists were murdered in various states, a figure that led national and international agencies to seek a rapprochement with the authorities against a background of violence and impunity. Reporters and media have no guarantees for their safety in doing their job. The federal government has not been able to put a halt to the impunity that surrounds the crimes committed in recent years. The wave of violence besetting Mexico has left more than 28,500 victims in the nearly four years since President Felipe Calderón declared war on organized crime. The Mexican press increased its levels of self-censorship and in some parts of the country it does not report on violent acts in which organized crime is involved. The National Human Rights Commission has recorded the deaths of 65 journalists since 2000. It called on the federal government to take action to prevent such assaults, as they violate the people’s right to information. In addition to the above-mentioned murders since 2005 the Commission has recorded the disappearance of 12 journalists, among them El Imparcial’s Alfredo Jiménez Mota, who went missing in April 2005, as well as 16 attacks on news media buildings. Making crimes against freedom of expression not subject to any statute of limitations, as well as the stiffening of penalties and the taking of protective measures, are issues still pending in the Mexican legislature despite the insistent calls of the IAPA and other national and international entities. On September 22-24 this year a joint international IAPA and Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) delegation held a meeting with Mexico’s President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, who promised to raise on the national agenda the issue of freedom of the press. He also pledged to ensure the safety of reporters and pursue legal reform to make crimes against freedom of expression federal offenses. In the meeting Calderón blamed organized crime for being at the forefront of such violence and said that work would be done on a bill seeking such action as an early warning system and a package of “ideal practices” for the work of journalists. In another development, National Human Rights Commission Chairman Raúl Plasencia Villanueva presented before civil society and press organizations a “Guide to Implement Precautionary Measures to the Benefit of Journalists and Communicators in Mexico,” whose objective he said is “to halt the violent situation that defenders of human and press rights are facing.” Other relevant developments during this period: On March 29 the IAPA asked President Calderón to act to move ahead the stalled legal proceedings in the case of the murder of journalist Armando “El Choco” Rodríguez. On June 8 the IAPA expressed concern and issued a “call to good sense” in the political campaign leading up to elections in Sinaloa state which gave rise to attacks on the newspaper El Debate and personal threats to its owners. In June there was a series of incidents against workers and distributors of the Sinaloa newspaper Noroeste de Culiacán. There were seven such incidents against employees handling the paper’s distribution, some were threatened and violently knocked off their motorcycles or bicycles and another was shot and wounded. On June 24 men armed with AR-15 rifles and 9mm pistols were reported to have shot more than 160 times at the antenna and building of the Televisa relay facility in Torreón. No one was injured. On July 9 the IAPA welcomed the anticipated decision of the federal government to set up a new Special Prosecutor’s Office for Dealing With Crimes Committed Against Freedom of Expression, which had been announced during the organization’s visit in February with the then Interior Minister, Fernando Gómez Mont. Reporters Jaime Canales, a cameraman with Multimedios Laguna; Alejandro Hernández, a cameraman with Televisa Torreón; Héctor Gordia from Televisa México, and Oscar Solís, a reporter with the newspaper El Vespertino, were kidnapped on July 26 after covering a mutiny at the Social Re-Adaptation Center No. 2 prison in Gómez Palacio, Durango state. On August 30 hundreds of journalists mobilized throughout the country in demand that the authorities apply justice in cases of the murder of journalists. On September 1 the Mazatlán newspaper Noroeste was shot up after telephoned threats relating to a report that it had published about clashes among various local drug cartels. Also in September there was concern on the part of the IAPA over the serious threat being faced by news media in Zacatecas, where violence has been on the increase and there has been a public outcry about a deterioration in the press’s safety. On October 3 the offices of the Sinaloa newspaper El Debate of Mazatlán were attacked by unknown assailants. The paper reported that some 17 shots, believed to have been fired from AR-15 and AK-47 rifles, struck the building’s customer entry door. The six journalists murdered during this period, presumably because of their work, were: Juan Francisco Rodríguez Ríos, reporter/correspondent of El Sol of Acapulco and Diario Objetivo of Chilpancingo, murdered on June 29 in Coyuca de Benítez, Guerrero. He was shot alongside his wife, María Elvira Hernández Galeana, in a small Internet café that they owned. He was also a local leader of the National News Editors Union. According to police reports two unidentified men entered the café and shot Rodríguez Ríos and his wife at point-blank range. He was struck four times in the throat. He was 49. María Elvira Hernández Galeana, a reporter with the weekly Nueva Línea, murdered on June 29 in Coyuca de Benítez, Guerrero. She was shot alongside her husband, journalist Juan Francisco Rodríguez. According to police reports two unidentified men entered the place where they were and shot them at point-blank range. She was hit in the head. She was 36. Hugo Alfredo Olivera Cartas, editor and publisher of La Voz and El Día in Michoacán/Quadratín, murdered on July 6 in Apatzingán, Michoacán. He was found dead on the early morning of Tuesday, July 6. Press reports said that some hours before his disappearance he had received a call on his cell phone in which he was asked to go to a place where an accident had occurred to obtain more information. He was 27. Marco Aurelio Martínez Tijerina, who worked for XERN, XEDD, TV Azteca, Multimedios and W Radio, murdered on July 10 in Montemorelos, Nuevo León. He was found dead after having been abducted the night before by an armed gang in the middle of the street. Some hours after his family reported his abduction an anonymous phone call informed the authorities that his body had been discovered. He was 45. Guillermo Alcaraz Trejo, a cameraman with the Chihuahua State Human Rights Commission, murdered on July 11 in Chihuahua. A group of armed men killed him while he was inside his car. He had initially worked as a cameraman for various local news media and later as a video editor. He was 24. Luis Carlos Santiago Orozco, a reporter with El Diario, murdered on September 16 in Cudad Juárez. In May this year he had begun training to be one of the paper’s news photographers. At the busy Río Grande Mall, at the corner of López Mateos Avenue and Paseo Triunfo de la República, he was approached by occupants of a vehicle. With him at the time was photographer Carlos Manuel Sánchez, who was wounded in the attack. He was 21. Carlos Alberto Guajardo Romero, a reporter from Expreso of Matamoros, Tamaulpas, was killed on November 5 in crossfire between federal police and members of organized crime.